The Sun Bowl is the second oldest college bowl game in the United States right behind the Rose Bowl and is played at the end of the year in El Paso Texas. For over 20 years the Golden Knights have had the honor of jumping in for the opening ceremonies making it a pregame tradition and the Gold Demonstration Team had the honor of carrying on that tradition. Unfortunately upon throwing the Wind Drift Indicators prior to the jump the winds were well over the limitations for the team to jump safely. The team held out as long as possible before canceling but still gave fans a glimpse of Golden Knight Air by flying over the stadium all the way to kick off. After landing and making it back to the stadium the team was still received well by the sponsors and loyal fans giving handshakes and hi-fives as the jumpers passed by. Even though the jump was canceled no one was disappointed and the team was told that they will still be asked for again next year.
One year ago The Gold Demonstration Team flew to Kemah Texas to jump onto the Boardwalk for the “Salute to Military Service”. Though the size of the target never changes, the area around it sure does-the Kemah Boardwalk is noted as one of the most difficult jumps of the year due to the buildings and trees surrounding it. The Team took off as scheduled but was faced with weather conditions that were close to the limits for an area that size. As the narrator, SFC Dustin Peregrin, stepped out of the aircraft he was faced with conditions beyond safety limits and proceeded to make the most difficult jump he had ever made. After landing safely the call was made to cancel the rest of the jumpers and end the show early. Even though jump did not go as planned the team was offered another chance to try again and redeem themselves.
This year as the team took to the skies they were met with clouds that pushed the Golden Knights distinctively painted C-31 down to 2500 feet and looking to get worse in a short while. Hopes were still high for the jumpers after hearing that the winds on the ground were light and coming out of the right direction making for an optimal approach to the boardwalk. As the jumpers left the plane in a signature Golden Knight stack out fashion cheers from the over 2000 people surrounding the target could be heard. The jump was a success as everyone made it in and hit the target one after another. You couldn’t ask for more appreciation from not only the sponsors but the people of Texas as everyone within view of the event wanted to come talk to and take pictures with the team. This jump concludes the travel season for the Gold Demonstration Team leaving only local jumps, the team can enjoy some long awaited downtime before heading off to winter training with the newest members of the Golden Knights.
The United States Army Parachute Team was honored to be apart of the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Army TEN-MILER Race held at the Pentagon. The Golden Knights were able to take seven jumpers into the race from an altitude of 4’950 feet! Team 6 Pilots CW4 Jason Davis and DAC Mr. Frank Reiner had the daunting task of delivering the team to exit altitude via our Twin Otter aircraft. The morning started at 5:00a.m. for the team and weather was 44 degrees and clear skies; perfect flying weather for the jumpers. Team 6 flew Sunday under conditions not normal for most jump pilots, the team was jumping into airspace shared by Reagan International Airport. The airspace was tight and the flying was spot on perfect for the jumpers.
The team performed a mass formation narrated by SSG Kevin Presgraves. SSG Presgraves exited the aircraft at 7:10a.m. into the early morning light over the Pentagon and descended upon the 30’000 race fans. Shortly there after the remaining of the team would exit and land on the streets below. After jumping into the cold weather and landing jumpers SSG Tom Melton and SSG Tom Pryjda completed the race in just under 80 minutes!
Gold Team looks forward to this single jump each year and can’t wait for the 2013 Army Ten-Miler to begin!